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Climate Series 2023: Working together to make an impact

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Posted 18th April 2023

Laura Rudland, part of the team at Active Partnership wesport, and on the national Active Partnerships Climate Change Steering Group, blogs about how working together is the best way to bring change.

When it comes to tackling climate change it can be seen as an overwhelming topic. We often feel like we don’t know where to start and there is so much to do we end up asking ourselves what impact can I have, can I really make a difference?

The Office for National Statistics for Opinions and Lifestyle survey found that around three in four adults (74%) reported feeling (very or somewhat) worried about climate change and that climate change was the second biggest concern facing adults in Great Britain.

There are 43 Active Partnerships (AP’s) that cover the whole of England, bringing together people and organisations to increase physical activity levels. As a network we reach an enormous amount of people across the whole of England. This collective reach gives us an opportunity to encourage change and get people thinking about what they can do to have a positive impact on the climate change crisis.

This is where the creation of the AP Climate Change Steering Group comes in! Led by David Gent, CEO of Active Humber the Steering group is made up of eight people from across the network with a passion for positively making a difference. One thing we recognised early on is you don’t need to be a climate expert to implement change or encourage others to do so.

Over the course of the last few years the steering group have been working with experts to provide learning opportunities and to identify actions we can all do to positively make a difference in both our internal organisations and externally with our networks. Here’s some of what we’ve done, that could provide support for you and your organisation.

Having an advocate for in each Active Partnership
Recently we have worked together to identify a climate lead in 42 of the 43 AP’s. This has allowed us to share key information and to have someone being a voice for the climate change agenda. We hold climate lead calls from time to time to understand what support is needed to implement change. This group has also provided a space for shared learning and has led to different people sharing their environment policy documents.

Being a voice for the topic
A climate change social media calendar was put together and shared with the network highlighting all of the awareness days throughout the year that link to climate change. We wanted to encourage all AP’s to use their sport and physical activity platforms and reach as positive advocates for change. If we keep sharing the message and sharing what we are doing individually this can encourage others to implement change and keep climate change on everyone’s agenda

Linking up with professionals to work with the network
Over the last few years several webinars have been held for the Active Partnerships throughout England. We have had expert guest speakers at each of the events and more recently these sessions have been structured around what we can do as a network and how the sport and physical activity sector can make the biggest change. We also supported the team at Sport England to produce their sustainable sport video.

This is just a snapshot of some of the work being done across the network and we are still early on in our journey. The main takeaway from this blog is that no action is too small, if everyone takes small steps it can lead to a big impact.

For further information visit The British Association for Sustainable Sport (BASIS) website

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